Cops choked over chopper

| 26/07/2012

cop helicopter.jpg(CNS): Only two weeks after the RCIPS announced that officers had been trained as first medical responders so the police helicopter could be used as an air ambulance, the police management are seeking urgent clarification from government about the future of the crime fighting machine. An RCIPS spokesperson said Thursday that there had been no discussion between the police and the government about the sale of the helicopter. The premier announced he would be selling the controversial chopper in order to save more than $1.7 million per year during his address to the nation on Wednesday regarding new taxes and spending cuts for his 2012/13 budget.

Bush said government had agreed with the expenditure review committee, which was set up to identify savings to the public purse, that the police helicopter should be sold as “it is simply unaffordable to this country”.

In the wake of the announcement the police said that the RCIPS had not been consulted about the impact of the helicopter’s loss to policing in the Cayman Islands.

“The sale of the police helicopter has not been discussed, nor has the impact of its loss been the subject of any input by the RCIPS,” a spokesperson stated. "The loss of the Air Operations Unit would have a considerable impact on our ability to maintain our current level of operational effectiveness. Equally it would negate the extension of its service as an air ambulance, which was so recently introduced. We are seeking urgent clarification from government on this matter.”

Less than two weeks ago Police Commissioner David Baines had described the chopper as transforming policing in the Cayman Islands and that there could be no doubt that the helicopter was an important resource, as he talked about how the RCIPS was learning more and more how it could best utilize the machine and ensure it provided value for money to the public purse.

Baines said it had proved an invaluable tool in the fight against serious crime, drug interdiction and had also saved lives. He said the helicopter was instrumental in apprehending one of the robbery suspects in the recent bank heist in Buckingham square and had helped police locate suspects on many other occasions.

The recent training of police officers to become medical responders is part of a larger project involving HSA staff which will see the helicopter utilized as an air ambulance.

Category: Crime

Comments (89)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why get the chopper if it is going to be sold?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Better than choking on donuts…when you think about it

    • Anonymous says:

      I do't blame the Premier.  Sell the helicopter, the Water Authority and Sewage plant, privatize the port authority, airline, healthcare, prison, fire service, garbage collection, schools incuding UCCI  and then we will not have to worry about the budget or having to pay taxes.  Some Caymanians are so help bent on no taxes that they would rather cut the civil service and layoff Caymanians and watch  crime increase rather than to use the dreaded "Tax" word. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 1401 I wish it was that simple to privatise the Government. It is the way to go. What some are not realizing is that Government is comprised of a lot of departments which do not generate a lots of funds. But society must have them. An excellent example is the prison. This means that Government must hold on to money making attrative assets to pay for those other services.

        The Government has spent the last few years trimming all the excess fat, we down to bone now in some departments. However departments like police continues to grow as in recent years we have had a crime surge. So the response would be to give the police more to work with. So we are running out of options in terms of cutting the CS other than to privatise.

        Other options might be a lottery, gambling or income or land taxs, but the first two is is similar to the cutting of the cs in that the churchs will not approve and will not vote for them. The second two starts to mess with your tax haven reputation and in land taxs there are a number of wealthy individuals that will fight to the end.

    • Anonymous says:

      Choking on donuts! You must be remembering your fat cops in USA. Not here friend.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A helicopter can be an invaluable asset to a professional and efficient crime fighting police service.  Unfortunately we don't have one, so yeh sell it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If the Premier used the helicopter for his personal private means of transportation he's work the cost of it into his proposed budget.

    Just think — We could name it Air Farce One

    Hahaha!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I heard that Lord Dart asked for a helicopter for his birthday and Mac is going to deliver one to him…..just sayin'.

  6. Anonymous says:

    as i recall dan dugay sugested selling the copter years ago if it could not be fitted out correctly

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is better than a soap opera

  8. Anonymous says:

    The UK never suggested taxation, all they suggested was that the Finance Minister would need to broaden the revenue base to afford the current pace of wastage; most significantly, the some $25mln/year in interest service payments we are obliged to pay them.  

    It would be nice to review a balance sheet of all of the revenues and expenditures of the CIG, and weigh each item on a cost benefit analysis with some rational thought.  I think we'd find the utility of spending $1.8mln on the Police chopper far outstrips the relative cost of say the many many frivolous million dollar expenditures that go completely unchecked or queried by the voters.  

    For example: $13mln on free solar panels is 6 years of Chopper interdiction, air ambulance, and rescue.  Which would be better for the people of the Cayman Islands? 

  9. Anonymous says:

    We don't need a police or resuce helicopter.

    We don't have any crime. XXXX

    We don't have any people that get lost at sea, After all. this is an island and everyone knows how to swim and there aren't any water accidents that require quick response.

    And NOBODY ever goes missing from their homes or public places.

    Nothing ever gets robbed especially during the daylight hours.

    NO, no need for anyone to be looked for – criminal or victim.

    No need at all for a police/rescue helicopter.

    End sarcasm.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for pointing out that you were being sarcastic. I love someone with a really ham-fisted, ponderous sense of humor.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mac is killing this country.  "sure lets see, I'll cut the helicopter that helps to fight the increasing crime.  Also, let's go  ahead and impose a tax that will casue the economy of the island to implode causing more unemployment and a much higher rate of crime"

    Uneducated logic at its finest

  11. Anonymous says:

    Govt. should have negociated/stuck with the local operator to begin with.

    Police had use of the local private helicoptor and pilot when needed….but couldn't satisfy and wanted their own.

    Just think of the increased cost of purchasing, refitting, maintenance, staffing, recertifications of staff, staff salaries and other benifits (including insurance) helicoptor insurance and other related liability costs……compared to simply renting the local when needed.

    Can't have low taxes and yet spend as if we have money growing on tress….at least not for ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like chalk and cheese. 

    • Anonymous says:

      What they should have done and what they did are two different things, and we have what we have now.  What the air unit guys must be feeling with all this crap being banded around, but this is par for Cayman.  Shoot from a very low hip and usually into the back, and don't involve the people who are putting their lives on the line to patrol OUR borders. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mac does not have operational control over the police, so he is unable to make a decision of this kind.

     

    He can reduce the police budget, but he cannot direct how the money is spent. If they did that I bet some government ministers would remove all breathalysers from police posession!

    • noname says:

      As I said earlier, there are billions if not trillions of dollars lodged here in the Cayman Islands.
      Why is it that the rich are not being taxed?
      It is senseless for Cayman to be renowned as one of the leading financial centers of the world, even the envy of the US and Mother UK; then have an issue with finances ???? Something is just not setting right with that picture.Government needs to seriously find ways to benefit from the deep  pockets of these wealthy investors. Since investors are invited to the Cayman Islands, a tax free jurisdiction allowing them the opportunity to make billions if not trillions of dollars; then the government and its people must make billions as well. Otherwise it makes no sense developing for someone else while the bill is on our backs  having to sell government assets.This has got to be the result of the PPM's reckless spending brought forward from 2009. This was long in the making
      If we are a leader amongst financial global players, then we must act like it, and portray the image as well, living it out in policies and legislation.
      The capital projects to put people back to work is a brilliant start, but more must be done for government to benefit from billionaires doing business in the Cayman Islands else it "Makes no sense."
      If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it is a duck.
      Billions and trillions of dollars in the Cayman islands should mean that the government is smart enough to benefit from some of those billions and trillions, and the people as well and our assets should not be sold, nor should we have a high percentage of poverty and unemployment.

      Putting it simple. The Cayman Islands boasting its position as one of the leaders in the Financial Industry of the world ' should not have an "acute" problem with finances!
      The UK is obviously divesting of some of our assets like the  police helicopter to bypass any and all responsibilities or potential debts that could be conferred upon them at any point and time or even induce excess borrowing which the UK is clear on with disapproval..
      The premier is working very hard to put the country on its feet but due to the previous government's reckless spending that forced the UK to take drastic measures against spending and borrowing; then of course this budget set by the UK was inevitable

      • Anonymous says:

        You can't corner the rich, because they don't stay here. They bank with us and I wouldn't want to be touching their bank accounts, because they could pull out and bank somewhere else.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The chopper should never have been purchased.

    And any expert  study of the cost – benefit ratio would have ruled it out.

    $millions have already been spent on this useless boondoggle.

    The clear path forward is to sell the chopper and disband  the entire police air service arm

    Use the money to implement something we really need – true police ground patrols,

     

     

  14. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Wow, the Honorable Premier Bush finally made a good decision.  However, the helicopter should be replaced with a properly equipped fixed-wing aircraft to prevent smuggling into the islands.  That was one of the original expert recommendations.  How do I know that? The same why that I discovered the RCIPS had losttheir own firearms.

    • To Dennie says:

      Trust me, Bush didn't came with this decision out of a hat. Rather, a tall black UK hat for that matter. I support him with the expat tax option. There are many tax options, but I am not hearing the other side come with any better alternatives. So I'll go with Bush on that option since it was discussed about by a committee.

      • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

        The criticism of the proposal to implement direct taxation on work permit holders only is the other side’s response.  By other side I mean the right side of the dispute, not a political party.  If it was up to me, there would never be any direct taxation in the Cayman Islands.  Governments must live within its means!  It is irrelevant where the government gets their income from, if the government is going to over spend it.

         

        When doing things which impact rights, governments try to do so in nibble sizes which they hope will not choke them to death.  That is one way to divide and conquer the residents.  I can only wish that more people would wake up to the understanding that yesterday it was the right of some to a jury, then the right of some to privacy, and today it’s direct tax discrimination, while tomorrow it might be you – today’s discriminator, who will be the government’s target.  Then who is going to want to help you then?

         

        I would rather that you not be fooled into thinking that just because you and your government (whichever one) have the legal right to govern that you all can do as you please. Those days are over.

  15. FNG says:

    Had we explored the other options that we were offered we might have been in a far better position today with this helicopter business financially. But some just like our politicians had to have their way?

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is wider then the chopper.  What else has Mackeeva decided can be cut that has not been communicated to the RCIPS.  It was back in September we were all feared the Cayman Islands was becoming Jamaica with 5 of our young men dead in almost as many days.  Robberies were rife and most were criticisng the police for doing nothing.  Whatever has happened in the police with the extra staff and other resources is that the end result for the Cayman Islands is that there has been no murders since (I standto be corrected), that some high profile robberies have seen the most postive action we could hope for and Cayman is one of the safest places in the Caribbean.  This is I'm sure is a RCIPS group action, it'll be too late when we have reverted back to the position in September last year. 

    And also worrying is that I have yet to see any comment from any other member of the Government in support or otherwise.  The world's media are waking up to the whole issue, and it's not pretty reporting. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why don't he Privatize Boatswaine Beach, collect the $5mio from Mike Ryan and recall all the concessions given to Dart and the other rich friends. That should help the budget. The Helicopter is now a valuable asset to these Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      I absolutely agree with your view and would hasten to add, that the only reason MadMac is looking to tax people and make cuts elsewhere is because he is so adamant not to make the cuts that really need to be made, the Civil Service in line with the recommendations of the Miller Shaw report and addressed all the many inadequacies within government as evidenced by most of the Auditor General's reports.  Had he not been consistently ignoring good advice and going off on his own little jaunts and spending spreees, had he been prudent with the public purse from the outset, then there would have been no need for the fee increases, the proposed tax or any cuts whatsoever.

  18. anonymous says:

    Remember the Helicopter was bought by Kurt Tibbetts and the PPM, so he has to get rid of it. Political simplicity!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Keke is now the puppet no longer The loud mouth! if he kept this way before hd could have gotten the budget passed. Mouth do hang people sometime, he us prime example!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone enlighten the Cayman public as to who was on the "expenditure review committee"  Appears no one from the RCIPS, they seem to have a lot to answer for.

    One thing that seems to be missing is a buyer? Other media reports 'premiers office confirms no interested parties".

    Interesting links below, seems a good idea to justify using the helo that we have the RCIPS justify all their tactics using this machine.  The RCIPS should be allowed to get on with policing?

     

    • Anonymous says:

      No to selling the helicopter, yes to the community enhancement fee. 

      • silly uneducated you says:

        Silly uneducated YOU.  Once you introduce a tax, it WILL be expanded.  The greed gravy train never stops.

        $498 million spent on 55,000 population per year?  Mother England did not get us into this mess, wasteful politicians and the bloated civil service did.  

        Docks, Chinese, Gas scandal, CUC, jolly travels, school contracts for cronies, all this waste!

        Keep the helicopter, aqdd an aircraft and STOP the politicians buddies from bringing in drugs.  Come on….you know our fat cats know the drug lords.  

        UK rule please…..(A Caymanian voter and 6th generation local).

    • Big Mike says:

      Dont worry Mac wants to buy it..

  21. Tax Enforcement Branch says:

    Cut cuuuuut  cuuut DJ cuuuuut  cuuuuuut DJ keep chopper send foreign police home can't have it both ways old boy This law enforcement hiring scam is now bankrupt.

  22. Anonymous says:

    There's something a bit odd about the way our premier is acting for the longest while now. It's as if he reckons he and he alone is the government. Like a one-man show sort of thing. Has anybody else picked up on this by any slight chance?

    • A77 says:

      He thinks he is, but the UK is really behind him, pulling the strings

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably the best comment I haveseen. 

    • Castor says:

      Speaks volumes about those he surrounds himself with though doe sn’t it. A wall of silence.

      • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

        Yes, it does.  It says the majority of the UDP supports the policies, because one man does not a majority make.

         

  23. Anonymous says:

    So the drugs and guns can flow in and through with ease. 

     

  24. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I support the chopper being here, now that I have declared my allegiance, please watch this report and hear the final comment of the fisherman

    http://www.cayman27.com.ky/2010/08/20/one-of-the-men-rescued-talks-about-week-long-ordeal

    and then say we don't need it?  Only a couple of weeks ago there was a report of the chopper finding two 17 year olds.  This is the 21st century, we need technology in all shapes.  I can think of a few things we don't need, but there again I don't go to church.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Quote April 2011

    +++Government is it’s not considering getting rid of the police helicopter. The confirmation came from Honourable Premier McKeeva Bush in the Legislative Assembly this week.

    “The helicopter plays an important role in boosting the capability of the RCIPS in all three Islands,” Mr. Bush said.

    Mr. Bush also said government does not agree with a report from the Auditor General’s Office made last year that the helicopter should be sold. +++

    Nothing's changed, except now it's an air ambulance as well with better trained staff?? 

    Link http://www.cayman27.com.ky/2011/04/08/government-wont-get-rid-of-police-chopper

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    Sell the darn thing Mac. All it does is keep me awake at nights.

  27. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva is so paranoid he probably thinks the chopper is being used tin the police investigation of him.

  28. Anonymous says:

    One more STUPID thing our Government is doing and the rest of the power Mad, Lazy, stAr's  are allowing to happen.

    SHAME on ALL you overpaid, good for nothings….. DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!

    Mr. Governor, can't you do something??? Isn't security under you?

    Drug dealers and Ganja boats and the various criminals will have a field day now, for sure!  "Government" might as well put a welcome mat out for them all at this rate.

    Will there be anything left of Cayman by May 2013?

    My Cayman home is now a Banana Republic.  That I know.  Every passing day we just get more and more bananas!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I guess with Macamathics, no one has realised yet that any loss from the sale would be an expense in the current year and would, therefore, add to the deficit.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Sell it yes!  Im sick of it. We have to pay 10 thousand dollars to refuel the thing.

  31. Anonymous says:

    sell cayman airway as they cost 3-5 times more expensive then cops chopper.

  32. Anonymous says:

    As a former police officer I can say every modern police force in the world use helicopters and this helicopter is probably the BEST asset the RCIPS have! I do not agree however in the way in which it used, for example patrolling SMB at low altitude during the day looking for what? However, night operations expecially are crucial to the protection of our borders from drug boats for example. Search and rescue is also crucial saving lives! I agree with another writer that the helicopter isn't equiped for rescue and should be fitted with a tethering system for lowering and raising rescue baskets. Mac I support you and the UDP, please do not get rid of the helicopter unless you have a cost effective alternative in place to replace it without interuption. The local operator used to operate for the RCIPS, perhaps it was not cost effective I don't know but I think the CIG found out the hard way that owning and operating a helo is expensive and perhaps the local operator is the best option? FYI the RCIPS has called upon me in the past to fly them in my personal aircraft on missions only paying for fuel as I requested but a fixed winged aircraft is not the answer, the helo is the way to go!

    • Devil's Advocate says:

      As a fellow Pilot, I m rather surprised at your comment regarding "fitting a tethering system" to the existing Police helecopter.

      One cannot simply 'fit' attachments to aircraft. ALL Aircraft have design limitations, especially helecopters.

      This particular aircraft was built with compromises to allow it to be as flexible as possible. Having extended range is far more valuable than a winch in search and rescue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of your comments would be spot on if the helicopter was being used the same aggressive way it was employed in the UK and that's the problem. RCIPS are not getting the kind of results that you would expect from similar UK-based operations and I don't see anyone attempting to explain this shortfall. I suspect the high profile training of the medical team was simply a spot decision to try and up the profile/value of the operation.

      As for the winch – you clearly haven't been following this story because this was mandated by the government of the day after the helicopter had been purchased than retro-fitting the equipment was found to be impractical on this particular machine. That's one of the reasons the introduction of the ASU was delayed. It was part of what was referred to as 'mission creep' when the project was audited.  

      On the fixed wing/rotary argument. If you take away the air ambulance and SAR roles fixed wing works very well. Hampshire Constabulary in the UK have been using the B-N Islander for years and GMP apparently have a B-N Defender.

       

    • Sciencey says:

      Cayman needs a new helicopter.

       

      The present helicopter was a terrible choice for Cayman. Despite it's air ambulance capabilities, the present helicopter was designed for use as an ambulance in a place like the U.S. where it can be landed on parking lots, buildings, highways and other large open spaces. There are very few such places that it can perfrom ad hoc landings in Cayman. It is further incapable of perfroming maritime operations, a critical requirement in Cayman. The only use for this helicopter is as a spotter, which is a very limited benefit when compared to other helicopters.

       

      The right helicopter for Cayman has a winch and can perfrom maritime operations to effect rescues on land or sea as well as extended periods of low level observation of bikinis at Rum Point. The Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin is the appropriate helicopter for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its great to say that the helicopter is a great asset.

      Its correct to say that our police need every bit of help they can get.

      The problem is can we offord one.

      The Government is cutting left and right.

      They are introducing new taxs every where.

      The expats right now are screeming as there is one proposed for them.

      The CS is complaining as they will have to pay health care.

      Everyone is making sacrifices left and right. 

  33. Anonymous says:

    Its about time that thing went.  The Government of the day were told countless times that we could not afford it, but then the RICPS told us how the drug lords would be running and how crime would be drastically reduced, which it has not achieved, but when then I hear it was deployed to look for a lost police dog or to buzz EE for illegal lobster.  Sorry, but I agree, its an easy way to save a huge amount

  34. Anonymous says:

    This week's news, including this announcement, is so thoughtless….PLEASE cut our Premier's strings, his personal budget, his travel…cut out his craziness asap please please!!!  

  35. Crooked Cronies? says:

    Hmmmm, perhaps our policing is causing some concern with the drug trade?  We would be foolish to think that no one in Grand Cayman is profiting from the international drug trade.

     The fat cat drug cartel don't want their shipments stopped.  Sure, they let the occassional bust happen, but this is a major shipping point and the helicopter can see the boats!

    Come on folks, without the helicopter what chance do we have to fight crime? Not much….right make and model or not….DO NOT SELL THE HELICOPTER!!!

     

  36. Anonymous says:

    No Mac, the chopper IS affordbable, it's CIG that is not. I'd be happy paying for the chopper, but being taxed to pay for you buffoons etc. is not acceptable.

    Cut the chopper & the new Jam.-Honduras-Cayman ferry service will be running guns n drugs in & stolen goods out faster than you can say "damn those fools in GOAB, they done it again; Cayman is further down the toilet."

  37. Anonymous says:

    or is that 1.7 million more for you to fly around on Cayman Airways partying. Oh wait…make it 3.4 million lost. Man please hurry up 2013 so we can get this lard ass out. Every 4 years one part just discredits what the alst party created at whos expense. CAYMAN WAKE UP!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Those who will be happy:

    a. Drug runners b. Arms smugglers c. Bank robbers d. Thieves/burglars e. Those in high speed vehicles trying to run from the police f. Those in Government currently under police investigation. g. Those happy to see funds go to Nation Building projects and churches instead of crime fighting etc etc.

    Those who will not be happy:

    a. Sailors/fishermen lost at sea awaiting finding b. Those in the sea drowning who await delivery of flotation aids/swimmers to keep them afloat c. Those seriously injured who need rapid transport to a hospital when an ambulance unavailable d. Those post hurricane or national disaster cut off from rescue/help when roads are impassable e. Those victims of crime who want all available resources to locate the criminals etc etc.

    I agree with the Commissioner, what else is available for rapid sea searches, coastal protection, rapid air ambulance, safe high speed pursuits, location of criminals with FLIR to name but a few capabilities not available elsewhere and is a proven lifesaver.  Value for money and don't believe the cost savings projected by the government.  Well done to the air unit for all their efforts so far, let's hope this extremely shortsighted decision is reversed and minister's 'pet projects', jealously guarded, looked at instead.

  39. Anonymous says:

    We could save more by selling Cayman Airways; Virgin wanted to buy it a few years ago.

     

    Oops! Silly me. Then there would be no more free rides to the well connected locals.

  40. Sick of Stupid says:

    What a shame !!!  What a waste of resources already spent !   What a lack of collaboration and communication.   It gets increasingly gross by the day !

  41. Anonymous says:

    Instead of selling it why not force expats to hand over 10% of their petrol so it can be used to give Caymanians free rides?  Seems fair to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      how about we fly it up your bottom? 

    • Anonymous says:

      An excellent suggestion. Each expat could be paired to a Caymanian who would be free to siphon off gas from the expats's car whenever he had a need. It could even serve to engender closer relationships between expats and locals, once the awkwardness of their initial meeting had been gotten over, I mean.

      • Anonymous says:

        ….or the expats could share their fat bonuses with the locals who deserved some too.

  42. RadarContact says:

    While Isee it at the moment, that is the wrong chopper for this island and the requirements we need. 

    It would make sense to sell the chopper and recover our pocket change from the selling and suspension of the Air Unit Police. 

    The EC-135 is a nice chopper, but all it can do here is search, no real rescue abilities.

     

    The Air unit do play more of a role now in co-ordination with ground and sea units, and Im sure it will be a sad loss for the RCIPS if its sold. However as it stands now I think its just a wrong use of money at the moment to keep this aircraft flying in Cayman.

     

    Perhaps when we "aquire" better wealth in the government, a suitable replacement can be sought for (such as one that can actually be used to do actual Search and Rescue – something more like the US Coast Guard Heli's, the AS365 Dauphin). However I feel that this wont be in the near future.

     

    We do have a local operator that can (and use to) do air search if required, and im sure that the charge of using him cant be more expensive that owning/operating a heli of our own.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can't afford a better helicopter so just forget the whole thing, take a bath on selling it and write off the investment in training. It won't fix your budget but it will put another local company back on the government payroll. Wait a minute, how is that going to save money…..  😉

    • Anonymous says:

      This is quite correct. This helicopter is not powerful enough to do real rescue work, and for this reason it has no hoist fitted. In addition, it is not kitted out to operate for medivac work. So Time for it to go: another expensive mistake we can ill afford.    Tim Ridley

      • Anonymous says:

        XXXXX Correct in that a winch would be a useful addition to the helicopter's many other capabilities vital to the Island, but you both appear to indicate that if it's not 100% capable but only 95%, get rid of it to leave 0%.  The helicopter can carry a stretcher, doctor/paramedic and life saving equipment in the air ambulance role.  What more is needed?  The helicopter can deliver quickly (day AND night) the ability to search with FLIR/NVG's/searchlight and drop flotation aids or trained rescue swimmers to those in desperate need afloat in the water; hasto be a lot better than nothing?  I am sure if it was either of you or your family requiring the service of these life-saving capabilities you would not be quite so dismissive.  As regards using other assets, the air regulations and aviation oversight is specific on safety, training and equipment.  The police helicopters twin engine capability and regulated performance (who wants a couple of tons of metal on their heads should the only engine fail?), dedicated police/ambulance/marine/fire communication equipment and specific role equipment to allow safe operations to landing sites at night, ensures that air regulations and CAACI oversight for safe operations are fully met day AND night by crews trained and dedicated to the task.  This is not amateur hour.

        I believe Cayman Airways annual losses comfortably exceed by a huge margin the running costs of the Emergency Services Helicopter.  Perhaps that should be looked at XXXX

      • Anonymous says:

        It's not that the helicopter isn't powerful enough for a winch but that the structure was never designed for one.

        This isn't a towbar you can just attach with a few bolts. A winch has to be an integrated, stressed component of the machine and that work needs to be specified and completed before it comes out of the factory or you end up doing a major (as in costing megabucks) airframe rebuild to retrofit it.

        Remember this is a police helicopter that was bought solely for policing duties, everything else has been added on as an afterthought by local politicians who either decided they knew more about helicopters than the experts in the field or were just dead set on making sure RCIPS never had an effective aviation unit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Either your saying we need one or we don't.  Can't have it both ways.  I would suggest we do need it.  

    • Anonymous says:

      There was actually a proposal some years back that the US Coast Guard station one of their Dauphins on Grand Cayman in the same way they do on some other Caribbean Islands. It wouldn't have cost CIG a penny but they also wouldn't have any control of its operations.

      At the time it seemed like pressure from people who had a vested interest in various kinds of 'night work' that the USCG might interfere with killed the idea off.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the police helicopter could be used to help the government's left hand find out what its right hand is doing.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I can just see it now. Heads or tails for the helicopter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not head or tails, simply the fact that the helicopter can't vote and, therefore, must be sacrificed. 

  45. cow itch :((> says:

    at least they are getting rid of that noise pollutant chopper that keeps spying on mi wife… perverts!!!!!!!!